Yonkers Joe hustles, setting up schemes to cheat at cards and dice. He has a girlfriend, Janice, but does he care about her or just need a partner in his cons? He's working out a scam of casinos, gathering intelligence in Atlantic City. The fly in the ointment is his son, Joe Jr., a mentally-challenged young man about to turn 21, aging out of a group home, belligerent as the move to an adult home and his father's lack of contact upset him. Joe Jr.'s counselor insists that Joe take his son for awhile to calm him down and prepare him for the transfer. Can a mentally-challenged, unloved kid make his way with grifters? Can a father discover new emotions? What about scamming the casinos? Written by
YONKERS JOE is a great addition to the tradition of independent New York centered films. Twelve years in the making, its story of a mid-level professional gambler and his adult son with Down's Syndrome was compelling and skillfully played. Chaz Palminteri keeps your attention throughout the story, and Tom Guiry (The Black Donnellys)deserves recognition for a convincing performance of a young man coping with Down's.
The story covers familiar ground with lots of nice twists and details. Technically very clever on the skills required to take on a modern casino security system. Believable from beginning to end.
Support this film when it comes out for release. Wonderful performances by Palminteri, Christine Lahti as his patient and clever love interest and a solid character cast including Michael Lerner,Roma Maffia, Arthur Nascarella and many familiar TV series faces. Any father/son should see this movie. You will laugh and learn, and be wiser at the end.
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